Oh man. A keen reader might remember that back in April I talked about my various fleeting (heavily influenced) career ideas, and one of those ideas was that I decided that I wanted to make cakes. What I didn’t mention is that Kat and I actually had big plans to one day open a cupcake cafe! That would have been awesome, right?! We also wanted to be wedding singers, so…
But I actually went through a bit of a cupcake phase. So much so that I named one of my dogs Cupcake. A boy dog, for the record. (And he is a total cupcake.) I have cupcake decals inside my kitchen cupboard doors. Cupcake-shaped jewelery holders. Cupcake-printed oven mits. I was allllll about the cupcakes.
Well, I’m feeling the cupcake love again after interviewing today’s awesome business woman, Rebecca Grant! Rebecca has recently launched her Perth-based cupcake business, Baking By Bec. Guys, go follow her on Facebook if you don’t hate the idea of extremely delicious cupcakes hitting your feed every few days.
I’ll wait here while you go do that.
Following? OK good. You did the right thing.
So Rebecca has been keenly baking ever since her Mum taught her as a child, and recently decided to turn her hobby into a business that she knew she would love. “I especially like cupcakes because while they are a classic there are still so many ways you can personalise them and make them unique, plus I doubt cupcakes will ever go out of style!”
Rebecca has a one-and-a-half-year-old son, and fits her business around caring for him, spending time with her (very supportive!) husband, and working part time as a physiotherapist. This means her business hours tend to happen in the evenings. “Most of my baking, decorating and paperwork is all done in the evenings, sometimes late into the night! A typical day would involve replying to queries I receive – providing quotes and ideas or suggestions on cupcakes. I aim to keep my Facebook page current, so I spend time editing photos and keeping active in business groups. On a day I am baking, I usually bake the cakes, and do all the other work while the cakes cool before I can decorate them.”
I can’t imagine doing all that AND working part-time AND parenting, but luckily Rebecca does have a support network. Aside from her husband, she is fortunate enough to have her Mum (fellow businesswoman and owner of baking accessory shop Confectionately Yours) available for support and baking advice, as well as some pretty awesome friends. “My friends have been very supportive, placing orders and spreading the word about my new business. Word of mouth from friends has been great advertising for me!” (Now that’s a delicious way you can sow into someone’s dreams, am I right?) She adds “I have found people genuinely want to help you succeed.”
That support network ended up resulting in Rebecca landing five times the orders she was expecting within her first few weeks of officially launching her new business! “That really gave me a boost of confidence and I realised I really could do this!” However, it also meant that she ended up learning her first difficult lesson in running a business quite quickly: “My one main fail (but I’d like to call it a learning experience!) was taking on too many orders in the one weekend. While they were all completed it was too hectic and I was running on very little sleep!”
Another lesson she has picked up is the art of time management. “Even though you are working from home and have flexible hours you still really need to dedicate some set time to the business. It can be so easy to put things off and “get around to it later” but it all catches up with you!”
Since launching her lovely business, Rebecca is now very passionate about supporting other female-owned businesses. “As a woman in business, I think it really is so important to support other women in business! I had some generous offers of help and advice when I was setting up my business and I hope to be able to do the same one day for other women starting out.”
As for the nitty-gritty of running a cupcake business, she notes that one of the trickier, more time consuming parts was registering her business with the local council – a necessary task for anyone wanting to run their business the right way. But now that’s out of the way, she can focus on some of the more enjoyable aspects of running her business – like creating new flavours and ideas!
“I haven’t made anything crazy (nobody would eat a weird cupcake!) but I did create my own Harry Potter Butterbeer cupcakes and have just started experimenting with cocktail inspired cupcakes. Watch this space!”
Um… Butterbeer!? Cocktails? TAKE MY MONEY.
Rebecca’s personal favourite is her chocolate oreo cupcake (that’s a chocolate cupcake with a WHOLE OREO BAKED INTO THE MIDDLE guys), which she says has kind of become her signature cupcake over the years.
Aside from having beautiful, freshly baked cupcakes pouring out of her ears, Rebecca is keen to expand into cupcake decorating classes, and hopes to eventually run a regular cupcake stall at a market.
For like-minded mums wanting to start their own passion-led businesses, she offers this advice: “You need to build momentum and just get out there and start doing what you love! Take the time to plan and set goals, but then just jump straight into it, don’t procrastinate! Involve family and friends – they can provide honest feedback and help spread the word about your new business. Make sure you’re passionate about your business and your customers will feel that too.”
YES. We have featured a lot of female-run businesses here over the last year, and the common thread that is always there is passion!
There’s no doubt that Rebecca is passionate about her business, so Perth people – make sure you remember her next time you need cupcakes!
And again, seriously, go like her Facebook page!